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Mobile Technology News, April 2, 2015

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • EU Preparing Antitrust Charges Against Google: WSJ
    (Reuters) – Europe’s competition regulator is preparing the groundwork to file charges against Google Inc in the antitrust investigation over the next few weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
    The European Commission is asking companies that filed complaints against Google for permission to publish some of the information they submitted confidentially, the Journal said, citing several people familiar with the requests. (http://on.wsj.com/19LpY2V)
    Antitrust experts said the requests were a strong indication that formal antitrust charges were being prepared in the case, the Journal said.
    Google was not immediately available to comment.
    The U.S. search giant has been engaged in a five-year-old antitrust investigation with the European Union that has stalled multiple times and caused a political uproar.
    While European Union lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a motion in November urging anti-trust regulators to break up Google, the U.S. Mission to the European Union had suggested that politicians should not influence the inquiry.
    A panel of experts appointed by Google to advise it on how to implement EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling, had suggested in February that the links be removed only from websites in Europe.
    European privacy regulators, however, want Internet search engines such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing to scrub results globally, not just in Europe.

    (Reporting by Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

  • The Funniest April Fools' Day Pranks Of 2015 From Around The Web
    April Fools’ Day has become synonymous with brands and companies lying to everyone on the Internet, but let’s not forget what it’s really all about: clever pranks on friends.

    People didn’t waste any time today in getting the drop on their friends, family and co-workers for April Fools’ Day. Some pranks took a lot of time, and some took a lot of evil. But all of them are at the expense of someone else and not us so let’s just sit back and be entertained by the good-natured misfortunes of others!

    Here are some of the best ones from around the Internet.

  • Fiancee and cat tracked by home cam
    The girlfriend and cat watched by home cam
  • Report: Apple demanding studios provide streaming for TV service
    As part of its as yet unconfirmed live television service, Apple is reportedly asking the networks themselves to handle the technical details, and associated costs of the streams that will reportedly be available on the Apple TV, similar to deals in place now. Costs generally run $0.05 per stream per hour, but executives are said to be balking at the potential cost for the as yet unknown demand for the service.



  • Dead Trigger 2 Comes to Windows Phone With 600 Zombie Killing Scenarios

    To say that Dead Trigger 2 is popular is a slight understatement.  Between iOS and Android downloads, the Zombie first-person shooter has been downloaded over 33 million times and now we can start adding Windows Phone downloads to that count.  The game made its debut in the Windows Phone store today after a few weeks of teasing from developer Madfinger Games and it is nothing short of awesome. Dead Trigger 2 for Windows Phone – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now Dead Trigger 2 brings you a post-zombie infestation where you have to work with other survivors to meet objectives

    The post Dead Trigger 2 Comes to Windows Phone With 600 Zombie Killing Scenarios appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • VIDEO: Snowden's smashed laptop goes on show
    The laptop used to store top-secret documents leaked by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has gone on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
  • I Spent A Few Days With Android – And It Was Depressing

    A few weeks ago a good friend of mine who shall remain nameless but works for Samsung sent a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8″ tablet.  The joke was, I showed up at a meeting with my Toshiba Encore 2 8″ tablet and he, being an Android centric company, gave me a fair amount of shtick over the Windows tablet coming into the meeting.  In reply, I said, send me a tablet and I’ll happily give it a go. So there you go.  I now have a Galaxy Tab 4 tablet (which I have to send back to him BTW). With

    The post I Spent A Few Days With Android – And It Was Depressing appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Yik Yak Is Testing A Photo Feature On Some Campuses
    Yik Yak, the anonymous messaging app, is testing a new feature that would let users share photos, Mashable has learned.

    Yik Yak is in the early stages of testing the feature on some college campuses for limited periods of time, sometimes as brief as several hours, in order to get feedback from users, according to sources familiar with the matter. Yik Yak confirmed the development to Mashable.

  • Technology
    Staying Abreast of Changing Technology
    by Lt. Gen. Clarence E. McKnight, Jr.

    “Along with disruptive technologies comes disruption in skills requirements,” said Stacey Wagner, Principal of the JarrettWagner Group, LLC, a leading expert in helping manufacturers develop worker skills. “New requirements take some time to fully understand and to teach – once they have been identified.”

    I believe Wagner has put her finger on the main problem facing not only manufacturing but also the military services — why finding qualified people is so difficult. “Today’s advanced manufacturing workplace requires employees with a multitude of advanced technical skills, as well as emotional intelligence, communication facility, talent in cognition and analysis, imagination, a capacity for systems thinking and creativity in problem solving,” she said.

    The military has the same problem finding people who can handle modern communications and stay ahead of the technology curve. Technology is advancing so quickly that by the time service people emerge from basic training and report for duty, their skills are already becoming obsolete. What we need is a new concept of education and training that begins in elementary school, a more diverse curriculum that empowers people to quickly adapt to stay ahead of the curve of advancing technology.

    Without question, the foundation of that curriculum should and must be a strong focus on the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We may not know exactly what game-changing technologies will next appear on the horizon, but people well-grounded in the STEM subjects will be uniquely qualified to analyze and master them.

    Today we are engaged in a new kind of war against an elusive enemy that is at home with digital technology and the Internet. They are encouraging our own citizens to take up their cause – to come join them in battle or to subvert our security on the home front. Our security apparatus is tracking this onslaught and identifying people who succumb to the message, but even so a few are joining terror groups in the Mideast or carrying out acts of terror here at home.

    To oppose this new enemy, we must first master the technology. The digital revolution is rapidly remaking every phase of our lives from the front office to the factory floor, from the command centers to the soldiers in the field. Engineering and mathematics are closely intertwined with advances in technology. We must think in terms of preparing a new generation of young people who have a deep comprehension of basic engineering and mathematical concepts. They need the skill sets that will enable them to confront unexpected challenges and work their way through them.

    Money alone will not solve the problem. We don’t need more people, we need better prepared people. We have to raise the bar even if that means teachers must meet more rigorous standards and marginal students are held back. Our nation’s security depends on it.

    Lt. Gen. Clarence E. “Mac” McKnight, Jr., (USA-Ret) is the author of “From Pigeons to Tweets: A General Who Led Dramatic Change in Military Communications,” published by The History Publishing Company.

  • Carbon Waste Will Be Worth More Than the Fuel (VIDEO)
    Ken Losch of Advanced Green Innovations discusses the future of energy production, and how what we now see as waste will soon be valuable:

    XPRIZE Insights is a video series that highlights the leading thinkers of our time. More videos here.

    Visit XPRIZE at xprize.org; follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+; and get our newsletter to stay informed.

  • Walmart Seeking Foreign Guest Workers To Fill U.S. Tech Jobs, AFL-CIO Finds
    Walmart is famous for keeping labor costs down inside its more than 5,000 brick-and-mortar U.S. stores. According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, the world’s largest retailer may have found a way to save money on its tech workers in the U.S., too.

    Researchers at the labor federation found that Walmart has been submitting a growing number of applications for H-1B visas with the federal government. Such visas let U.S. companies employ foreign workers here temporarily, often in high-tech capacities and at lower wages than their American counterparts would typically fetch.

    According to the research paper, Walmart filed 1,800 petitions for H-1B visas over the last eight years, with the annual number increasing from 79 in 2007 up to 513 in 2014. Over the same period, offshore outsourcing firms have filed nearly 15,000 such petitions for work in Bentonville, Arkansas, Walmart’s corporate home. That includes companies such as Infosys and Cognizant, IT service firms that are among the top H-1B users.

    Two caveats about those numbers: Bentonville’s economy is wired around Walmart, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all the applications were tied to Walmart work. And just because a company petitions for an H-1B visa, doesn’t mean it secures one.

    Walmart did not immediately comment on the AFL-CIO report. The labor federation has been a relentless critic of Walmart over the years. It has also fought to limit the number of H-1B visas that the government will allow, arguing that they depress wages.

    “Walmart is driving down standards in the tech industry in the U.S. by using H-1B visas and contractors excessively,” the report reads. “This keeps costs low and allows for IT guest workers to be paid less.”

    H-1B visas have become a flashpoint in the debate over comprehensive immigration reform. U.S. businesses, and particularly tech companies such as Facebook, have been lobbying to raise the cap on the number of H-1B visas available, saying they can’t find enough qualified U.S. workers to fill engineering and other tech positions. Worker advocacy groups and labor unions say these companies simply want to find a cheaper labor pool.

    The same argument extends to a host of guestworker programs administered by the Labor Department, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Each year thousands of H-2B guestworkers, many of them Latino, come to the U.S. to work in jobs like landscaping and seafood packing at the bottom of the wage scale. H-1B tech workers, many of whom come from India, may be much better compensated than those workers, but critics of the program argue that it still allows companies to pay lower wages for a given profession.

    “While H-1B visa workers may have more rights than H-2B workers, we’ve seen countless cases of H-1B tech workers being coerced and strung along,” said Jacob Horwitz, lead organizer at the National Guestworker Alliance, a worker advocacy group.

  • Nearly Half Of U.S. Smartphone Users Say They Can't Live Without Their Phones
    Americans are getting attached to their smartphones.

    The Pew Research Center released a new study on Wednesday laying out how Americans use and feel about their phones. Nearly half of all U.S. smartphone users claimed they couldn’t live without their phones. And they declared overwhelmingly that they found their phones far more helpful than annoying, distracting or limiting.

    When people were asked “Which of the following statements most closely matches how you feel about your cell phone, even if neither one is exactly right?” 54 percent said it was “not always needed,” while 46 percent said they “couldn’t live without” it. Despite this split in attitudes, people tend to say that their smartphones improve their lives. Check out Pew’s chart below:

    Despite Clear Benefits, 54% of Smartphone Owners Say Their Phone is “Not Always Needed”—but 46% Say it is Something They “Couldn’t Live Without”

    The data come from a survey of 3,181 Americans, mostly online and some by mail, of which 2,188 respondents were smartphone owners.

    According to Pew, 70 percent of Americans associate their smartphones with the word “freedom” more than “leash.” Seventy-two percent think their smartphone is “connecting” rather than “distracting,” and 93 percent think it’s “helpful” rather than “annoying.”

    According to a separate phone survey of 2,002 U.S. adults, 64 percent of Americans now own smartphones, up from 58 percent in early 2014, according to this study.

    Though people clearly see their smartphone’s benefits more than its drawbacks, it’s important to remember that this study is self-reported. It’s the only way to get answers to questions like this, but people will often answer in ways that they feel make them look good or rationalize their actions. For example, if someone spends hours a day on their smartphone, they are more likely to say that their smartphone makes them happy in order to explain their behavior. So take this information with a grain of salt.

    There are obviously a lot of ways in which smartphones do negatively impact our lives, whether we want to admit it or not. Using your smartphone at night can hurt your sleep and productivity, work-related smartphone use increases stress, and high levels of smartphone use makes your downtime less enjoyable.

  • How Brands Can Utilize Periscope in Direct Marketing Efforts
    When it was confirmed that Twitter acquired Periscope, the live-streaming video app, it was only a matter of time before the what’s, how’s and why’s would begin to be answered and start to make sense.

    It took less than two weeks after this announcement for the iOS app to be introduced. Live streaming along with the 24-hour “replay” option gives big brands an entirely new way to market to and engage with their audience.

    While this is just the beginning of Periscope and there are many questions still unanswered and many features to come, there are several ways the app can be utilized by big brands looking for an edge.

    Announce special offers and contests

    This presents a fun and interesting way to announce special offers and contests, giving brands a new way to push instant traffic to their website. While a traditional tweet might only receive a small click-through rate, a live-stream audience is much more engaged, which presents an opportunity for much larger traffic surges.

    Companies that really connect with their Periscope audience correctly will build an army of promoters. Would a beverage company see a better return from a primetime TV commercial or thousands of consumers live-streaming to millions of viewers with said beverage in the shot? Marketing executives should be drooling right now.

    New level of endorsement/influencer marketing

    Want ridiculous engagement rates? Have a celebrity “take over” the company Periscope for a live broadcast. Imagine if Diet Coke announced a Taylor Swift take over. Millions would tune in and Diet Coke sales would be imminent.

    Could live-streaming product plugs replace expensive commercial productions? Lower costs and higher engagement rates will be appealing to corporate advertising executives.

    Showcase company culture & the people behind the brand

    Consumers are infatuated with behind the scene information and Periscope allows companies to take their customers on office tours, production facility tours, as well as introduce them to the faces behind the brand.

    That personal connection is, or was hard, for big brands but now Periscope provides such easy direct access to help establish and build that connection. Expect to see major brands take full advantage of this.

    Live Q&A sessions and instant feedback

    The best way to find out what your customer wants is to flat out ask them. Periscope connects brands to their customers in real-time. Hosting a live Q&A session is a great way to get instant answers to questions.

    Imagine if a company fired up a Periscope live-broadcast in the middle of a board meeting to get some instant feedback on a new idea? Innovative brands will be all over this. It is far too convenient and powerful to avoid.

    Sneak peeks and teasers

    What if a company wants to build up excitement and buzz right before a product launch? Fire off a few live-streams from retailers the night before as the shelves are being stocked, providing consumers with a glimpse to trigger a “you need this” subliminal message.

    This direct to target-consumer advertising opportunity is priceless. Periscope has arrived and so has live-stream marketing. Companies will need to adapt or be left behind.

    Jonathan Long is the Founder & CEO of Market Domination Media, an online marketing agency specializing in creative outside the box branding campaigns. Connect with him on Twitter and join his company’s free weekly newsletter.

  • Going Beyond The Marketing Cloud – Meet The Experience Cloud
    I remember the old days when marketers juggled over ten different tools trying to make sense of a flurry of conversations happening online on a variety of channels, across different geographies, about hundreds of different products. We had to piece-mail everything together because none of the products were integrated with each other. It was extremely frustrating.

    Then came the marketing cloud with its promise of one view across a variety of marketing activities and consumer conversations. It made a lot of things easier for marketers, and one could argue, for consumers.

    But did it really?

    I am not so sure.

    Marketing cloud… Customer service cloud… Sales cloud… The technologies might have helped with internal efficiencies, but they exasperated the problem of internal silos even more, thus making it harder for companies to provide remarkable customer experiences consistently across a variety of platforms and channels.

    Ask yourself: “Does your customer really care what department (s)he is talking to?” Modern customers are informed, have unlimited choices, and expect excellence. If you don’t meet – and exceed – their expectations, they will take their business elsewhere. Plain and simple.

    When you have the infrastructure that is function-focused vs. need-focused, you run into the problem of presenting your brand in fragmented and inconsistent way. Most of the time that means that your departments don’t talk to each other, don’t have access to the same data, and don’t have one single view of the customer across transactions, channels, and touchpoints.

    And that damages your business.

    Why? Because if you cannot provide remarkable experiences to your customers consistently, your business will struggle to spark and nurture loyalty. Gartner estimates that, by 2016, 89% of businesses will differentiate primarily on customer experience. Need I say more?

    That is why Experience Cloud is the new business imperative. It is a shift away from channel-dependent technologies and into a customer-first, silo-busting world.

    2015-03-31-1427802905-4022261-ECinfograph.jpg

    Experience Cloud is an infrastructure that allows brands to strive to create valuable, frictionless experiences for their customers. It is the technology that will build bridges between marketing, customer service, sales, PR, etc. in a meaningful way to allow for a single 360-degree view of the customer.

    Marketing cloud isn’t enough anymore. Sales or customer service cloud isn’t enough either.

    If brands truly seek to achieve digital transformation and succeed at omni-channel marketing, they need an end-to-end infrastructure that spans across the customer lifecycle. And that is what Experience Cloud does. It enables businesses to create valuable experiences that customers will love across brand websites and 20+ social channels.

    Looking to learn more? This Introductory Guide to the Experience Cloud will help.

  • 7 Reasons Why Nonprofits Need To Ramp Up Their Social Media Presence
    By Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO of Likeable

    We all saw it happen this summer. It started with a video of one of your friends dumping a bucket of ice water over his or her head. Then it was two videos. Then it was five. And suddenly, celebrities, politicians, and thought leaders alike were participating in the the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. After several weeks of this viral campaign, the ALS Association raised a stunning amount: over $114 million in donations.

    When I was studying to become a teacher in college at Boston University, I believed that “education was the great equalizer” – that anyone in the world with access to education could succeed. While education is still a great tool for leveling the playing field on this planet, social media has emerged as the new “equalizer.” Anyone with a phone that has access to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can use social media to spread ideas, raise money, and even start or join a revolution.

    Nonprofits have a unique opportunity to use social media to grow and scale their causes and donations online. Today, I’m proud to announce Likeable’s partnership with Grassroots.org to help make social media super simple and effective for local nonprofits.

    Here are 7 reasons social media is perfect for non profits to accomplish their objectives:

    1. Get the word out cheaper and faster. The days of costly direct mail campaigns and galas are over as social media and online marketing allows nonprofits to more narrowly target their audience, avoid waste and communicate faster and further than ever before. A growing number of people, myself included, would rather click on a Twitter link to Crowdrise and send $100 through PayPal to a cause of choice than attend a rubber chicken dinner. (Hint to nonprofits: Tweet me!)

    2. Use social context to drive friends of friends to participate. 92 percent of people trust their friends recommendations, and less than 40 percent of people trust ads. So even if you can get free PSA’s from your local radio station or newspaper, they’re not nearly as powerful as getting your supporters to spread the word to their friends via social networks.

    3. Build a community of supporters. Nonprofits have traditionally worked very hard at building community – through events and get-togethers. But now you can build a 24-7-365 community using a Facebook Group, or a LinkedIn group, or your social network of choice. Instead of just you talking to your supporters, you can truly cultivate peer-to-peer communication, and listen to what your supporters have to say!

    4. More easily reach the people you’re out to serve. It’s one thing to reach your supporters, but it’s another thing to reach the people you’re actually serving in the community. My favorite national nonprofit, Donors Choose, uses social media to better connect with the teachers their organization serves. My favorite local nonprofit, the Port Washington Education Foundation, uses social media to better find and solicit grant applicants from our town, and listen to the community’s needs.

    5. Find and engage influencers to help spread the word. Smart nonprofits have always tried to tap into local influencers – the President of the PTA, the Captain of the football team, and the President of the Chamber of Commerce, for example. Now, they can use social media to find and engage with influencers not only in their town, but around the globe, who may be passionate about their cause and also have a large following. A retweet to 50,000 people might be more helpful than a $50 donation.

    6. Become a thought leader in the space you serve. Social media and blogging allow you to demonstrate your understanding of and expertise in your nonprofit’s particular area of interest, and more important, showcase that understanding and expertise more easily than ever before. I remember going to galas years ago where they showed beautiful, highly produced videos and had speeches from experts to make the crowd feel warm and fuzzy about the cause they were supporting. Now, you can reach more people than ever with your blog posts, iPhone videos, LinkedIn messages and even tweets.

    7. Better tell your story. In order to tell your nonprofit’s story effectively in the past, it required 30 second TV or radio spots, glossy brochures, and big, expensive galas. Now you can tell your story with every Facebook post, LinkedIn article and tweet. Now you can tell your story through blogs, videos, and infographics.

    It’s the best time in world history to be involved with a non profit you care about, because of social media and these seven key opportunities. What causes do YOU support?

    This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

    Dave Kerpen is the founder and CEO of Likeable Local. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of Likeable Media, and the New York Times-bestselling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business, and the new collection, Likeable Leadership.

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  • 'Gents', 'Fellas', 'Boys' – How Language Is Telling Women They Don't Belong
    Sitting at my desk today, dress and new flats on, I opened an email sent to me and my group with the first line “Gents, I need your help with this hard technical issue…” In one swift motion, I uncrossed my legs to firmly press my feet into the ground and leaned forward as I peered over my glasses in question.

    Why am I so peeved by someone using the word “gents”? I’ve been known to let phrases like “Thank you gentlemen” dance off my tongue before to thank a couple men who I knew well. But this use was in an email to my entire group, not just a couple men.

    What is unsettling is the exclusiveness of the language used. It was like the author (probably unintentionally) set the tone that the men in my group were more likely to answer the question or that the men were smarter. Or even that there were no men in my team, because of the highly technical nature of our work (some background here — I’m the sole female engineer on a team of seven).

    It’s been proven that language choices matter, especially when it comes to gender exclusion. Recently, Harvey Mudd College was able to dramatically increase its enrollment of women in engineering classes by revisiting the language used to title and describe classes.

    Back to the “gents” email, what effect did this have on me and my employer? Well, there was some lost time in productivity as I questioned why I was even upset. It made me question if I’m part of the team, and set the standard of acceptable and common behavior. Worse, what if this was the norm that fathers took home to their kids? What does this attitude imprint on the future generation?

    Why does gender diversity matters in the workplace? Women and men solve problems very differently, and that’s especially important when it comes to engineering, which is just a fancy word for “problem solving”. If we settle for a majority of one gender as engineers, we risk problems being less than ideally fixed or even going unsolved (think cancer cures, keeping bridges from collapsing, etc).

    As one imperfect person to another, I encourage openness, inclusiveness, and standing up for others. Let’s watch using gender exclusive language, like “gents”, “fellas”, or “boys” on emails unless we are 100 percent sure that all are men, and want to be referred to as men. Need an inclusive, fail-safe word? Just use “all” or if cowboy boots are more your style, feel free to use “y’all”.

  • 10 Ways to Help Your Kid Get a Good Night's Sleep
    By Erin Wilkey Oh, Common Sense Media editor

    Parents know firsthand the impact a poor night’s sleep has on kids. Lack of sleep can contribute to crankiness, problems with attention and learning, behavioral issues and even health problems such as obesity. Though the reasons for poor sleep vary, many parents worry that media and technology interfere with bedtime routines and sleep.

    Studies on how media use affects kids’ sleep aren’t conclusive. But they do highlight certain behaviors that are associated with poor sleep. We’ve put together a list of tips for ways your family might manage tech use to help your kids (and you!) sleep better. We hope you find something that works for you.

    1. Encourage physical activity instead of screen time after school. After a long day at school, many kids just want to plop down in front of a computer or TV and veg out. Although kids definitely deserve a break, studies show that increasing physical activity during the day can lead to better sleep.
    2. Keep devices off the bed. It’s possible that the blue light emitted from laptops, tablets and smartphones interrupts sleep patterns. Set up other comfy spots in the living room or on the bedroom floor for tweens and teens to do computer work or just enjoy their screen time.
    3. Try white-noise apps to calm babies and toddlers. With bedtimes for young kids starting as early as 6:30 or 7 p.m., you may find it hard to provide a quiet environment for sleeping babies. Apps such as White Noise (iOS/Android,1.99) or White Noise Baby (iOS/Android,0.99) can help soothe little ones to sleep while the rest of the family carries on with regular evening activities.
    4. Limit young kids’ exposure to violent content. Especially for kids under 8, seeing violence in videos, on TV shows, in video games and in movies can directly affect quality sleep. Exposure to media violence can increase kids’ anxiety and lead to nightmares that interrupt the sleep cycle.
    5. Keep TVs out of the bedroom. The connection between bedroom TV and poor sleep is well-established. Kids don’t sleep as well or as long with a TV present.
    6. Make the bedroom a “no connection” zone. The growing trend of sleep-texting is a disturbing enough reason to play it safe. Confine online activity to common areas such as the dining room or living room and have kids charge their phones in another room at night.
    7. Minimize screen time right before bed. Try to establish the hour or so before bed as a screen-free time for kids to wind down. A calming routine such as a bath followed by quiet activities or reading will help young kids make the transition more easily. Getting teens to “unplug” before bed will help them disconnect from the excitement and drama happening online.
    8. Introduce your kids to meditation or calming apps. Meditation apps can be a quieting addition to kids’ bedtime routines. Stop, Breathe & Think (iOS, free) offers 15 guided meditations that encourage kids to take stock of their mental and emotional states.
    9. Set up a phone/iPod charging station in the family room. Some studies suggest that simply sleeping near small devices such as phones is associated with poorer sleep. With notifications and texts coming in at all hours, tweens’ and teens’ sleep will get fewer interruptions if they leave their phones in the living room or kitchen for the night.
    10. Model healthy sleep habits. No matter which ground rules and routines you put in place for your family, it will be a hard sell if you don’t practice what you preach. Young kids emulate their parents, and tweens and teens will question your rules if you don’t follow them yourself.

    More parenting advice from Common Sense Media
    Be a Role Model: Find a Healthy Balance With Media and Technology
    How to Tell Relatives, Babysitters, and Even Your Spouse Your Screen-Time Rules
    3 Simple Rules for a Healthy Media Diet

    Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org

  • App Lets You Donate Companies' Money To Charity Just By Clicking
    Clicking never felt so good.

    Tinbox, a new app out of Paris, has devised a way for users to give big companies’ money away just by tapping their phone’s screen.

    Participating companies agree to donate 1 euro (about $1) each time a user clicks on the profile of a nonprofit that has partnered with the app. Users choose a project they want to support, then a list of items the group needs, say a hospital bed or a stethoscope, appears and they choose which product their click should support.

    Once the user completes the “purchase,” the logo of the company that’s supporting the organization appears for five seconds, then disappears. The user isn’t prompted to take any other actions, like viewing cumbersome pop-ups or revenue-generating ads, TechCrunch noted.

    It’s still a pretty sweet deal for involved companies.

    They get to boost their brand, measure the number of times people have been exposed to their giving and can include projects they’ve already budgeted for, according to Tinbox.

    German-based software company SAP has agreed to fund 10,000 clicks, according to TechCrunch. The app said it’s in discussions with a number of major brands and smaller companies.

    Currently in its beta phase, Tinbox plans on opening up to the public in the next few weeks.

    Tinbox has signed on a number of charities, including EXCITED, which promotes STEM education for Irish children and Electricians Without Borders, a group of electrician volunteers that help communities in need.

    In addition to getting funding and visibility, charities get the added benefit of engaging with supporter who don’t have the funds to help.

    “We solve the problem of not being able to donate to the charity they care about,” co-founder David Linderman told Techcrunch. “Our vision is that everyone is able to support the causes [that speak] to them.”

    Find out more about Tinbox and how you can download the app here.

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  • 39 Tech Execs Sign 'Historic' Statement Against LGBT Discrimination
    The tech industry is coming out strong in support of LGBT rights.

    As of Wednesday afternoon, 39 top executives at some of the country’s biggest tech companies signed a joint statement on Wednesday urging lawmakers to add protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to existing anti-discrimination legislation.

    “To ensure no one faces discrimination and ensure everyone preserves their right to live out their faith, we call on all legislatures to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to their civil rights laws and to explicitly forbid discrimination or denial of service to anyone,” the statement reads.

    Organized by Max Levchin, chief executive of the online financial firm Affirm, the statement includes signatures from such industry heavyweights as Square CEO Jack Dorsey, eBay CEO John Donahoe and Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman.

    The move comes in the wake of a new law passed in Indiana that allows business owners to refuse to serve LGBT people on religious grounds. A growing number of big businesses from Apple to the Gap have denounced the law. Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, who also signed the statement, led the charge against Indiana, saying he would cancel all of the company’s non-essential travel to the state.

    Under pressure from Walmart and other corporate giants, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson refused to sign a similar religious-freedom bill on Wednesday unless legislators amended it to include protections against LGBT discrimination.

    Human Rights Campaign, the nonprofit LGBT rights advocacy group, said it expects more executives to sign on later on Wednesday.

    “This unprecedented and historic effort by the giants of the tech industry should be a clarion call to policymakers that discriminating against LGBT people is not acceptable in today’s marketplace of ideas,” Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “These leaders have made it clear: if states want high tech jobs, they must put fully inclusive nondiscrimination protections in place immediately.”

    Read the full statement below:

    The values of diversity, fairness and equality are central to our industry. These values fuel creativity and inspiration, and those in turn make the U.S. technology sector the most admired in the world today.

    We believe it is critically important to speak out about proposed bills and existing laws that would put the rights of minorities at risk. The transparent and open economy of the future depends on it, and the values of this great nation are at stake.

    Religious freedom, inclusion, and diversity can co-exist and everyone including LGBT people and people of faith should be protected under their states’ civil rights laws. No person should have to fear losing their job or be denied service or housing because of who they are or whom they love.

    However, right now those values are being called into question in states across the country. In more than twenty states, legislatures are considering legislation that could empower individuals or businesses to discriminate against LGBT people by denying them service if it they felt it violated their religious beliefs.

    To ensure no one faces discrimination and ensure everyone preserves their right to live out their faith, we call on all legislatures to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to their civil rights laws and to explicitly forbid discrimination or denial of services to anyone.

    Anything less will only serve to place barriers between people, create hurdles to creativity and inclusion, and smother the kind of open and transparent society that is necessary to create the jobs of the future. Discrimination is bad for business and that’s why we’ve taken the time to join this joint statement.

    Sincerely,

    Max Levchin, CEO, Affirm

    Mark Pincus, Chairman, Zynga

    Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp

    Marc Benioff, CEO, SalesForce

    Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square

    Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter

    Joe Green, CEO, Lyft

    Brian Chesky, CEO, AirBnB

    Joe Gebbia, CPO, AirBnB

    Nathan Blecharczyk, CTO, AirBnB

    Ron Conway, CEO, Axon JuriMed Group LLC

    John Donahoe, CEO, Ebay

    Paul Graham, CoFounder, YCombinator

    Rich Barton, Chairman, Zillow Group

    Chad Hurley, CEO, Mixbit

    Adora Cheung, CEO, Homejoy

    Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote

    Trevor Traina, CEO, IfOnly

    Nirav Tolia, CEO, NextDoor

    Dion Lim, CEO, NextLesson

    Bret Taylor, CEO, Quip

    Joe Lonsdale, CEO, Formation 8

    Thomas Layton, Chairman, Elance-odesk

    Fabio Rosati, CEO, Elance-odesk

    Dave Morin, CEO, Path

    Mark Goldstein, Chairman, BackOps

    Kevin Rose, CEO, North Technologies

    Yves Behar, CCO, Jawbone

    Padmasree Warrior, CTSO, Cisco Systems

    Tony Conrad, CEO, about.me

    Sunil Paul, CEO, Sidecar

    Michael Moritz, Chairman, Sequoia Capital

    Dan Schulman, President, PayPal

    Devin Wenig, President, eBay Marketplaces

    Robert Hohman, CEO, Glassdoor

    Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and Chair, Emerson Collective

    Mohan Warrior, CEO, Alphalight

    David Spector, CIO, Penny Mac

    Shervin Pishevar, CoFounder, Sherpa Ventures

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